Review need to be succinct. While they vary in tone, subject, and style, they share some
Summary of content
This should be brief, as analysis takes priority. In the course of making your assessment, you’ll hopefully be backing up your assertions with concrete evidence from the book, so some summary will be dispersed throughout other parts of the review. Is its scope indicated by the title; what was the author’s purpose; is the treatment convincing; for whom was the book intended – the general reader, the scholar, or both; what is the nature of the content?
The necessary amount of summary also depends on your audience. If your audience has already read the book—such as a class assignment on the same work—you may have more liberty to explore more subtle points and to emphasize your own argument.
Formatting your Paper:
Your paper should be (3) three FULL pages long.
The following example is the required heading for a review; it (heading only) should be single spaced.
The remainder of your paper – or body – should be double spaced. Substitute your book information to follow the example below. Italicize titles.
Title. By Author – first name last name. (Place of publication: Publisher, year published. Pages. List if there is an index, prologue, maps, bibliography, etc. Do not go in and list chapters.)
Bound for Canaan: The Epic Story of the Underground Railroad, America’s First Civil Rights Movement. By Fergus Bordewich. (New York: HarperCollins, 2005. Pp. xi + 540. Preface, maps, notes,
(Note: The heading is single spaced and goes at the top of your paper – not in a header).
Then you start writing your paper.
If the book has illustrations, maps, charts, or other special features these should be included in the above
heading – you can find these listed in the table of contents.
Be sure to use MLA formatting with a works cited page at the end. The works cited does not count
in the minimum three full pages.
▪️There should be no footnotes in a review. Put citations at the end of the sentence. If you quote or reference something from the book reviewed, the referenced content should contain an Endnote, which should look something like this.
For example. “I love memes and history. (Source, pg #) or Mr. Harry explained that he loved memes and history, but was not specific on what type of history and memes that he likes.
▪️Be sure to quote correctly, including punctuation, capitalization, and the spelling used by the author. You may paraphrase material from the source and cite as another method to get your point across with evidence.
▪️All persons mentioned in the review should be identified by their full names the first time their names appear; first name, middle initial (if any) and last name. After that, the last name is fine.
▪️You should mention the full title of the book the first time you mention it in your review: For
example: In Bound for Canaan: The Epic Story of the Underground Railroad, America’s First Civil Rights Movement, the author Fergus Bordewich notes that Harrie Tubman………After this you can refer to the book by the shortened title, i.e. Bound for Canaan.
▪️Review must be typed or word-processed. It must be double-spaced – except for the heading, which is single-spaced.